So this recipe today is a reflection of that. This is what I have been making lately, instead of desserts. This fruit salad is delicious, after dinner a cold bowl of this fruit salad is all you need really. If there are any leftovers, it gets packed for recess at school the following day. Quite often I make it so big that I ensure there is enough for school tomorrow.
Now you may ask why does a fruit salad need a sugar syrup, well in truth it probably doesn't, but if you decide to add it, it really does add an extra bit of flavour that is just perfect. The vanilla is subtle, but you can taste it, the lime adds a little zing to the fruit salad. I have also more than doubled the amount of fruit than what was added in the original recipe, but kept the syrup the same, so you can decrease the amount of fruit you add, if you like.
Now the fruits I add is what I have in the house, my families favourites are watermelon, pineapple, any berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc, peaches, nectarines, grapes (any colour), mango, kiwi fruit, banana, cherries... This truly is a summer recipe where the fruit is ripe and you have so much choice. Probably the most important thing is that the fruit needs to be cold.
I will admit when I am particularly lazy I sometimes even just sprinkle on the sugar directly over the fruit, pour over the lime juice and use vanilla extract, instead of the paste, stir it all together and refrigerate a few hours for it to macerate. If doing this you don't need to add the water. It tastes great, not quite as good as doing it properly, but great non the less.
Also the original recipe adds mint to the syrup, but as not all of my family love mint, I tend to add a few sprigs on top, for flavour and colour. Those that don't love mint can avoid it this way.
Now I will also mention this is perfect for Christmas in Australia. As we have a hot summer Christmas this would be a perfect way to end Christmas lunch. It is refreshing and light. It is also great as you can prepare it in the morning and just leave it in the refrigerator until needed. Or if you have family like mine, big, you can make the syrup the day before, then after lunch get a few helpers to chop up the fruit for you, then you just pour over the syrup and serve immediately. It goes beautifully over some vanilla ice cream also, dessert done and so easy to make.
So whether you just need a simple sweet treat after dinner or if you want to impress guests with an amazing fruit salad for Christmas, give this a try, it won't disappoint.
This makes one really big fruit salad.
1/4 of a medium watermelon
1 small pineapple
2 punnets strawberries
1 punnet blueberries
2 cups grapes, any type
2 cups cherries
A few mint sprigs, to decorate
Lime and mint syrup:
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
1/4 cup (60ml) water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Firstly make the vanilla lime syrup: Place the sugar, lime juice, water and vanilla in a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once it has dissolved, increase the heat to high, bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes or until the syrup thickens slightly. Place the syrup in the refrigerator whilst you prepare the fruit.
Remove the rind from the watermelon, chop up the flesh into bite sized pieces and add to your serving bowl.
Cut off the top and bottom of your pineapple, now carefully cut off the prickly skin. Once you have done that, the centre of the pineapple needs to be removed, so cut around it and discard the fibrous centre. Now chop up the pineapple flesh into bite sized pieces, add to the watermelon.
Remove the skin and seed from the mango, chop up the flesh into bit sized pieces also, add to your bowl.
Wash the strawberries, remove the stalks, slice them as you like, add to the bowl.
Wash the blueberries and the grapes. Remove the stalks from the grapes and add to the bowl.
Remove stalks from the cherries, you can pit them also if you like, I don't for us at night, but for a Christmas fruit salad I would. Add to the bowl.
Wash the peaches and nectarines, then i just cut wedges around the seed, discard the seed, add the wedges to the bowl.
Peel and slice your banana, add to the bowl.
Pour over the syrup and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
If using immediately add on your mint sprigs and serve. If you have refrigerated it for a few hours, give it a quick stir before adding on the mint leaves, then serve.
Pin it: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/399413060687890638/